Beth Mead called up to England Women squad for Northern Ireland clash


eth Mead has been called into the England Women’s squad ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with Northern Ireland.

The Arsenal forward was initially omitted from the 21-strong group named for the match at St. George’s Park earlier this month, with interim head coach Hege Riise explaining that her “player report hasn’t been that great”.

However, Mead was added to the squad on Friday as a replacement for Chelsea striker Fran Kirby, who has been forced to withdraw due to what England described as a “slight injury” sustained during the 5-0 Women’s Super League demolition of Bristol City on Sunday.

Also joining up with the Lionesses – who have not played a competitive game since March 2020 at the SheBelieves Cup in the United States – is Manchester United defender Millie Turner.

She replaces Kirby’s club team-mate Millie Bright, who has also returned to Chelsea after suffering an injury.

“We always knew this would be a complex camp,” Norway legend Riise said ahead of her first game in charge since being appointed to bridge the gap between Phil Neville – who left last month to become manager at David Beckham’s MLS side Inter Miami – and Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman, who is due to take the reins following the Tokyo Olympics.

“But we are delighted to have a fixture against Northern Ireland to prepare ourselves for this week and I have been very impressed by the spirit and determination I have witnessed from our players in camp so far.

“Millie Turner and Beth Mead now have an excellent opportunity to impress me and my coaching team on this camp and we look forward to welcoming them here.

“Being resilient, adaptable and versatile is what we are all about and it is a privilege to be working with such a talented and ambitious group of players.”

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